Improvisator Manual

Thank you for purchasing Harmony Improvisator. This VST plugin is intended to compose music based on the rules of classical harmonic theory. The program lets you explore, by clicking the mouse, the manyfold worlds of harmonic theory without having to consider rules of part-writing or keys and scales. Embedding Harmony Improvisator has to be inserted into your host software as a VSTi plugin. Per default it routes the chords you trigger to a built-in synthesizer. You can optionally load a separate sampler or synthesizer in your host application and route the midi output of Improvisator to it instead of using the built-in synthesizer. For that, choose „Midi out“ in Improvsator‘s „output“ option menu and connect both Improvisator and your sound generator via a midi track which has Improvisator as the input and the sampler / synthesizer as the output. After setup you should hear harmonies when clicking and holding the mouse on any of Improvisator‘s chord buttons. First steps The main key is chosen in the Circle of Fifths on the top right. The two rows of buttons top left are the most important buttons. These are the scale degrees of the chosen key. The upper row corresponds to the current major key and the lower one to the corresponding minor key. Below that you find more complex derivatives of these functions: • • • • • Various inversions, i.e. the same chord with different bass note, one gender inversion, Suspensions, which are chords that tend to be solved to a simple harmony, various characteristic derivatives of subdominants, various characteristic derivatives of dominants.

If you prefer the harmonic functions to be named as chords (like A7) or as scale degrees (like I-IV-V-I) you can change the display style in the "Show harmonic function" dropdown. Suggestions On the middle of the plugin you find suggestions of harmonies that could well follow the one you actually triggered. These are computed anew after each choice of harmony. The first suggestion usually is a rather common sound, for example the standard resolution of a suspension or of a dominant. To try more than one suggestion without loosing the others, you can right click them to avoid that new suggestions are generated after each click.

(See chapter "Patterns") To switch between the patterns you can use the dropdown menu "Active Pattern". Harmony Impovisator makes it very easy for you. The MIDI file being generated you should be able to load in any sequencer software. Per default. The harmonic timeline Any harmonies that you play you can drag with the mouse into the harmonic progression area. replaced or moved via drag and drop. only notes that are contained in the underlying harmonic function are magnetic unless you choose a different "Magnetic" option. To make writing of melodies and manipualtion of chord notes in the sheet music view easier. Some other means of manipulation of the timeline are available via right-click into the timeline whereby a drop-down menu is opened. Sheet music editing The timeline not only shows the harmonic functions but also the corresponding notes of the functions in a sheet music view. You can alternatively export the actual notes of the active pattern by clicking "Save" and then choosing "Save Midi". With that timeline you can not only visualize the actual sheet music of the chords you are interested in but also you can compose up to seven different chord patterns for assembling a piece of music. Voicing adjustment . This means that when moving a note vertically it will always flip to the next magnetic step of the chosen scale / chord. Patterns and harmonic sequencing When it comes to assembling a whole piece of music based on the harmonic functions you have picked. Individual patterns can be played back in a loop with the play button beneath the harmonic timeline. Individual harmonies can be deleted. Any C on the keyboard triggers pattern #1. With the mouse you can manipulate these notes: Once you have set up a little harmonic progression it is possible to change any note or to remove some notes as well. The Zoom slider on the right below the timeline allows to zoom in and out to the desired time resolution to create your style of music. any D triggers pattern #2 and so forth. you can make a certain scale or the notes of the underlaying chords magnetic with the dropdown menu "Magnetic". The triggering notes (C. Just fill some patterns with harmonic functions for the different parts of the piece and make sure the "Input" dropdown is set on "trigger patterns". Now use your midi keyboard to trigger the individual patterns which are looped and synchronized to the host project automatically. Use this to reset the whole pattern or to insert pauses. You can also freely put melody notes into the sheet music view between the actual harmonies by clicking into an empty time frame.) you can record and tweak around in your host sequencer to generate long and more complex arrangements. By pressing c/n/b you can force a #/nothing/b to the active note.Recently triggered Above the ten suggestion buttons Improvisator registers the four most recent harmonic functions that have been triggered. D etc.

This may be confusing at a first glance as these symbols are seldomly used in the context of producing music with the computer. all the other instances are updated automatically. a so called “Sixte ajoute”. but they represent the essential concept of the Harmony Improvisator: The chord symbol E7 for example only tells you how to play the chord. which does not contain any information about the meaning of the chord. if you want to create an applied dominant of the Subdominant click right on "S" to mark the target and then click "D" in the scale degrees. Such a construct is written "D [S]". The symbols are quite easy to understand: A small character stands for minor. The progression T-S-D-T is called “Cadence”. the key itself. With the matix of voicing adjustment you can thereby vary between "thin" and "full" voicing or between bass-rich or treble-rich voicing of the chords. To mute one of the voices. the bass . Improvisator is meant to present the value of a chord in a certain context to the user and to let the user choose as soon as he or she has spent a little time getting into the system. you can adjust the representation of the four chord voices: "Soprano". Parallel instances of Improvisator With the new version of Improvisator it is easy to set up combos of different Instruments with independent voicings but with the same underlaying chord backbone: Simply launch Improvisator several times within one host project and route the different midi outputs to different sampler or synthesizer plugins. For example. The small upper numbers (superscript) represent an added note or suspension in the corresponding interval to the base note of the function symbol. You can write different voicings for different instruments now and all of them are being played back synchronously triggered by your host sequencer. and D stands for “Dominant”. the mostly major chord based on the 5th of the key. For example so called "intermediate Dominants" target other scale degrees that the Tonic.For each pattern. Numbers below the symbols denote which tone is set as the lowest note. "Alto". right click it. About the meaning of the harmony symbols Unless you change the „Show Function“ / „Show Chord“ selector this plugin by default deals with function symbols (like Dv) instead of chord symbols (like E7). the chord which is based on the 4th of the key. All scale degrees now reference to that target scale degree which is visualized by square brackets. Instead. Special: Right click on scale degrees In the circle of fifth you choose the main key of your music that is the reference for all your harmonic functions. S stands for “Subdominant”. "Tenor" and "Bass". a large one for major. But often a piece of music does side steps to other keys for a short duration. s56 for example means a minor Subdominant with added 6th. To choose a scale degree to be the target key for a period of time. Improvisator does not aim at presenting interesting chords out of a black box that you can only play but not understand. Alternatively. it is the most common harmonic motif in european music. T stands for “Tonic“. it is a Dominant that tends to be solved to S. you can activate more than one square for each voice which means doubling that voice shifted one or two octaves up or down. When you manipulate the harmonic progression or the main key in one of those Improvisator instances. click the glowing square for that voice below the "Save" and "Load" buttons so that it does not glow anymore.

The parallel of a major chord is a minor chord 3 semitones below. dominantic character A crossed symbol means that the first of the chord is missing DD means „Double-Dominant“. which is the Dominant targeting the Dominant sn means “Neapolitan Chord”. . The 3 for example means that the 3rd is the bass. ( So aminor is the parallel of C major and vice versa) An upper “v” means diminished which has a dissonant. which corresponds to the first inversion of a chord.of the chord. • • • • • p / P means the parallel of a chord. The parallel of a minor chord is a major chord 3 semitones up. which has a characteristic small 6th and no 5th.

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